Saturday, September 30, 2023, 5:47 a.m
BRENTWOOD, LOS ANGELES (KABC) — For some veterans who were injured during their service, life after military service can be daunting – especially with a disability. That’s why an event brought together local veterinarians in Brentwood for a day of sport and fun.
Tennis, basketball, even blindfolded competitions all took place at Brentwood School, where veterans used the campus for their first invitation to adaptive sports.
“We wanted to connect our veterans, provide them with opportunities to exercise, and support promotional activities to improve their quality of life,” said Myisha Jones, recreational therapy department director.
The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System hosted the first-ever local event, attended by 50 to 75 veterans. Adaptive sports allow people of all levels and abilities to participate in recreational events.
The event was aimed at veterans and people with disabilities, giving them the opportunity to work with coaches, try a new sport or hobby, and meet others. Some veterans even compete at the national level
“My first national games were in Des Moines last year and the feeling I had and the camaraderie I had when I saw all the veterans together – it’s a completely different feeling.” It gave them and the staff, “The treatment she received simply brought great joy,” said Blessen Eapen, chief physician for physical medicine and rehabilitation.
Coordinators say events like these not only help promote healthy physical activity for veterans, but also promote their mental health and social lives. The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System hopes to do this every year and include more people next year.
“It’s almost like a spark goes off when they feel like, ‘Oh, I can do this again,’ and it’s self-limiting at times,” said Kris Eneberg-Boldon, rehab therapy program manager. “They don’t think they’re capable of it. It’s not about winning the game, it’s about getting everything out of it – that we all benefit from sport.”
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